Killa Design, Shaun Killa, Dubai practices, Dubai design firms, UAE, Business strategy 2019
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Dubai's Killa Design to expand internationally with two new offices within five years

Killa Design, the firm behind Dubai's much-anticipated Museum of the Future, plans to open two offices in either Australia, China, the UK, or Singapore as the Dubai-based architectural engineering studio expands its international footprint.

The company intends to open two offices in London, Singapore, Shanghai or Sydney in the next five years to build a design empire spanning from Europe to Australasia.

Between 10 and 15 people will be hired for each office, which will deliver architecture, project management, interior design, engineering, and masterplanning services.

Shaun Killa, founder and design partner of the practice, said the business had “sown seeds” for expansion and would continue to do so in 2019.

“Having sown seeds in the GCC and the Far East, we may have more growth in the future,” he told Construction Week. “In the next two to three years, we would like to establish one or two small firms in the UK, as there is great talent in London, and possibly in Singapore, Shanghai, or Sydney too.

“We have put a toe in the China market and we’ve already had enquires to come over there to start talking to people about cultural buildings, as well as some high-rise buildings. So I think there will be some efforts in Shanghai.”

Killa Design counts Museum of the Future and the twin 77-storey Jumeriah Gate Towers among the buildings in its portfolio. Despite its impressive repertoire, though, Killa said he does not want the company to expand in a way that would affect its ability to work closely on projects.

“There have been offices that have grown tremendously around the world, but the problem is that they are not necessarily designing work that is significant – it’s good work, top draw, but it’s not changing the way people think about architecture,” he said.

“There have been many firms [hiring] less than 100 people whose work has been truly significant. This is what we want to do. We’re at 62 people now and we may reach 100, but this is where we will keep it, because if it gets greater than that, the scales start to change and you start to lose touch on certain projects. It’s all about the detail.”